Arab designers shine on Oscars 2020 red carpet

Youssra wearing Zuhair Murad at the 2020 Oscars. AFP
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Updated 10 February 2020

Arab designers shine on Oscars 2020 red carpet

DUBAI: The Oscars ceremony, now in its 92nd year, was once again held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, bringing with it a drove of celebrities who descended upon the red carpet on Hollywood Boulevard wearing their finest threads to acknowledge and celebrate their peers in film and television.  The Oscars are one of the most-watched red carpets in the world, meaning the stakes are high for stars to bring their fashion A-game, and they did not disappoint.

Youssra wearing Zuhair Murad at the 2020 Oscars. AFP

Representing the region was iconic Egyptian superstar Youssra, who arrived at the ceremony on Sunday evening wearing an ivory-colored Zuhair Murad gown with caped sleeves. The Lebanese designer was also responsible for creating the sheer black, gold-embellished design worn by British television presenter Carly Steel and American model Molly Sims’ long-sleeve plunging number on the red carpet.

Sandra Oh wearing Elie Saab at the 2020 Oscars. AFP

Meanwhile, Canadian-Korean actress Sandra Oh looked to the House of Elie Saab to dress her for the occasion, choosing a statement, pale pink ruffled confection with larger-than-life, tulle shoulders that was plucked hot from the Lebanese designer’s most recent couture runway, which he showcased last month in Paris.

Lilliana Vazquez wearing Rami Kadi at the 2020 Oscars. AFP

Elsewhere on the red carpet, E! News hosts Giuliana Rancic and Lilliana Vazquez both chose designs from the region for the biggest ceremony of the year. Rancic stunned in a flaming red, feather-embellished creation with zipper detailing from Omani couture label Atelier Zuhra, while Vazquez chose a long, strapless beaded dress from Beirut-born designer Rami Kadi.

Waad Al-Khateab wearing Reem Masi at the 92nd Academy Awards. AFP

And although Waad al-Khateab’s Syrian war documentary “For Sama” did not win the golden statuette for best documentary feature, her dress from fellow Syrian designer Reem Masri, which read in Arabic “We dared to dream and we will not regret dignity,” proved that you don’t need to take home an award to be a winner.

Scarlett Johansson wearing Oscar de la Renta on the 2020 Oscars red carpet. AFP

Other memorable looks include Penelope Cruz’s archival Chanel creation from the 1995 haute couture collection and Scarlett Johansson in a transparent corseted Oscar de la Renta design.  “Black Swan” star Natalie Portman made a feminist statement in Dior’s ethereal embroidered cape with the names of female directors overlooked by the Academy— including Greta Gerwig of “Little Women”— stitched into the fabric.

Natalie Portman wears Dior at the 92nd Academy Awards. AFP

Meanwhile, the push for sustainability was apparent via chic pieces like “Bombshell” star and best supporting actress nominee Margot Robbie’s vintage Chanel spring 1994 couture gown that boasted a jewel pendant and cuff sleeves that were completely detached from the strapless navy dress. “Booksmart” star Kaitlyn Dever also used the red carpet to to promote more eco-friendly practices in the industry by donning a crimson Louis Vuitton dress made with the Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) sustainable standards in mind. 

Jane Fonda, 82,  took to the stage in a recycled, crimson beaded Elie Saab gown she previously wore to Cannes in 2014, to present the best film award.

Margot Robbie wearing vintage Chanel at the 2020 Oscars. AFP

In UK libel case, Depp denies hitting ex-wife Amber Heard

Updated 08 July 2020

In UK libel case, Depp denies hitting ex-wife Amber Heard

  • Depp is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that said he had physically abused Heard
  • While Heard isn’t on trial, the case is a showdown between the former spouses, who accuse each other of being controlling, violent and deceitful during their marriage

LONDON: Johnny Depp denied hitting ex-wife Amber Heard in a jealous rage, dangling her tiny dog out a car window and being a Jekyll-and-Hyde monster, as he was cross-examined for a second day Wednesday by a lawyer for British tabloid The Sun. The newspaper is defending a libel claim after calling the Hollywood star a “wife beater.”
Depp is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that said he had physically abused Heard.
The case opened Tuesday at the High Court in London, with Depp sitting in the witness box and denying Heard’s allegations that he assaulted her on multiple occasions.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star said Heard’s “sick” claims that he assaulted her on multiple occasions were “totally untrue.” He called his ex-wife sociopathic, narcissistic and emotionally dishonest.
Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, met on the set of the 2011 comedy “The Rum Diary” and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They divorced in 2017, and now bitterly accuse one another of abuse.
While Heard isn’t on trial, the case is a showdown between the former spouses, who accuse each other of being controlling, violent and deceitful during their tempestuous marriage.
The Sun’s defense relies on Heard’s allegations of 14 incidents of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in locations including Los Angeles, Australia, Japan, the Bahamas and a chartered jet. He denies them all and says Heard, an actress and model, attacked him with items including a drink can and a cigarette, and severed his finger by throwing a vodka bottle at him.
Cross-examining Depp, The Sun’s lawyer, Sasha Wass, recounted an allegation of abuse that Heard says took place at her home in March 2013. She said Depp became enraged at a painting by Heard’s former partner, artist Tasya van Ree, that hung in Heard’s bedroom.
Depp acknowledged that he “could be jealous” but denied Heard’s claim that he took the painting off the wall, tried to set it on fire and slapped Heard when she intervened.
“I did not hit Ms. Heard and furthermore I have never hit Ms. Heard,” said Depp, who wore a gray suit, blue shirt and patterned tie for his court appearance.
He also denied hitting Heard in 2013 after she laughed at a tattoo he had that read “Wino Forever.” He said he’d had it altered from “Winona Forever” after he split up with actress Winona Ryder years earlier.
“I don’t recall any argument about any of my tattoos,” Depp said.
Depp rejected every allegation of violence put to him by Wass, dismissing the claims as “not correct” and “patently untrue.”
Asked about an incident in which he allegedly dangled Heard’s Yorkshire terrier, Pistol, out a car window, Depp said “it is absolute, utter falsity.”
“That is not my idea of fun, although my sense of humor is rather skewed,” he said.
He denied the lawyer’s suggestion that his memory had been impaired by alcohol and drug abuse.
Wass has tried to paint Depp as a volatile personality with a longstanding drug habit and an anger-management problem.
Depp acknowledged taking both prescription and illegal substances since childhood, but said Heard’s claim he became a “monster” when he drank and took drugs was “delusional.”
The lawyer read out an email to Depp that Heard had composed in 2013 but never sent, in which she said he was “like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and called his behavior a “full on disco blood bath.”
Depp said Heard’s claims of abuse were a “hoax” and said the email was evidence “that Ms Heard was building a dossier” as “an insurance policy for later.”
Depp and Wass also clashed over whether Heard had tried to curb his drinking and drug use. Heard claims she tried to support Depp to become sober and never took cocaine during their relationship.
“There were many times in our relationship, early on, where not only did she chop the cocaine with a razor blade into lines, she would then take the cocaine on her finger and rub it on her gums,” Depp said.
When Wass said Heard often had two or three glasses of wine during an evening, Depp shot back: “Two or three bottles.”
“That is complete nonsense, Mr. Depp,” the lawyer said.
Heard is attending court and is expected to give evidence later in the trial, which is scheduled to last three weeks.